Dr. Cynthia Jones answers some common questions about menopause
The time in women’s lives when they stop menstruating, marking the end of their reproductive years, is called menopause. It is a natural, but sometimes confusing point in life, so Dr. Cynthia Jones provides answers to three common questions.
What changes occur as I near menopause?
Your ovaries will begin to produce less estrogen. Changes in menstrual periods are one of the most common and earliest signs that you are approaching menopause. Although menstruation tends to be irregular during this time, if you experience abnormal bleeding, visit your doctor, as it could indicate a non-menopausal problem. Menstrual periods stop when the ovaries are no longer producing sufficient estrogen to thicken the uterus lining. It is important to remember that it is still possible to become pregnant for one year after your final menstrual period.
What is the primary symptom of approaching menopause?
Hot flashes are the most frequently occurring menopause symptom. It is estimated that three out of four menopausal women in this country will experience them. Hot flashes are sudden feelings of heat that rush to the face and upper body. The skin may flush and they may begin to sweat. Hot flashes can last from several seconds to a few minutes, or even longer. They often wake women from sound sleep, resulting in a lack of restorative sleep, which can be one of the biggest problems faced by menopausal women.
What are the emotional aspects of menopause?
Transitioning into menopause can be a turbulent time because hormone levels changing rapidly can affect the brain’s neurotransmitters. This, combined with a possible lack of sleep due to hot flashes can lead to fatigue, mood swings, fears, anxieties, and even depression.
Don’t worry; we can help you through this time!
We will work with you to develop a treatment plan to ease your journey through menopause. The plan may include:
- Identifying hot flash triggers – Stress, heat, weather, tight clothing, spicy foods, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine are common triggers. Avoiding your triggers may reduce the frequency and intensity of your hot flashes.
- Diet – Incorporating foods rich in plant estrogens such as lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans may help reduce the hot flashes.
- Lifestyle changes – lower thermostats, the use of fans while sleeping, dressing in layers, quitting smoking, and weight loss can make hot flashes easier to tolerate.
- Hormone Therapy – Estrogen can treat hot flashes, relieve vaginal dryness, and relieve some of the changes that might cause urinary tract infections. Additionally, hormone therapy can slow bone loss, help prevent osteoporosis, and reduce colon cancer risk.
Call 205-518-9800 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Tomeka Roberts and Dr. Cynthia Jones look forward to meeting you.
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